Viscum Album, a poem written by Nigel de Costa at
Takahiro Sakamoto

Viscum Album

Viscum Album

written by: Nigel de Costa


The November sun, low at this time,
backlights the beeches in an amber glow,
slowly disrobing their autumn reds,
decayed yellows; outer garments
carelessly scattered at their feet.

Among near-naked boughs
Aeneas’ golden baubles hang
flecked white with pearls;
stowaways, once hidden in
summer foliage, they leer over
the path to your netherworld.

Gifts for Persephone, back
from the quick, to be crowned
Queen of the Dead;
ready to open purgatorial locks
with these viscum keys.

As you and I walk beneath the trees,
lost in our Saturnalia,
it’s an opportunity, an excuse
to stop you, lift your face
and kiss your lips,
as if an excuse were needed.

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